Recognising the change in consumer attitudes towards conventional brand marketing, Microsoft asked us “How do we launch the next generation of our Office software without using a traditional large scale advertising campaign?”
The brief was to communicate how Office 365 enables people to do more at work, at home and on the move. Microsoft wanted to demonstrate the ease and convenience of Office 365, to position it as part of people’s everyday lives and to give it a human face.
First, we looked at the best way to reach digital and other audiences. We decided that most powerful way was to show, not tell. This meant that we needed to produce a campaign that was interactive and attention grabbing.
We developed our creative concept around the idea of Office 365 on the move. We used one of London’s iconic Routemaster buses to bring the idea to life. The bus was the focal point for an integrated campaign involving social and media influencers, a consumer competition and creating content.
We planned a day-long launch and named our bus the Route 365, using the name in URLs and hashtags.
A team of social media celebrities was hired to deliver five-minute “Ignite” talks from the moving bus, all the time connected through the cloud. All this was live-streamed to show off the capabilities of Office 365 on the move. The Ignite talks used 20 slides auto-forwarding every 15 seconds for five minutes. This created high-energy, dramatic performances by social media influencers, which were perfect for streaming.
Rugby legend Will Greenwood spoke about how he used technology to report from the British Lions tour. Sally Whittle, prominent mummy-blogger, told people how she uses social media and technology to balance her career and parenthood. TV celebrity Tess Daly talked about being a busy entrepreneur, TV personality and mum.
We designed a responsive microsite that combined a Bing Maps mash-up with the live streams of their talks, so that people could follow the event as it moved. The microsite encouraged conversations about Office 365 helping people keep track of the small things in life, online, on the move and on the bus.
A photo competition was amplified by a paid Twitter promotion. We also had an artist on board to draw scenes from the route of the bus. He uploaded them live, using Office 365 of course. They were then automatically tweeted to followers of the event on social media.
We created a model to predict levels of response based on our previous experience of social media events. Using this we set a range of measurable targets to help manage the campaign and evaluate its impact:
- 80,000 video views
- Website visits: 28,000
- Reach: 2,926,193
- Engagement: 40,971
- Sentiment: 99% positive or neutral